World Cup Nines: England teams make winning starts in Sydney

Sam Tomkins
Sam Tomkins has experience of playing in nines tournaments before, from his time with New Zealand Warriors

England's men and women both registered convincing wins in their opening pool games at the inaugural World Cup Nines tournament in Sydney.

Hull FC's Jake Connor scored two of the men's team's five tries in a 25-4 victory over Wales.

Daryl Clark, Sam Tomkins and Jermaine McGillvary also touched down, with Mike Butt grabbing Wales' consolation.

England's women beat Papua New Guinea by the same score, with Castleford's Rhiannon Marshall getting two tries.

Caitlin Beevers, captain Emily Rudge and Leah Burke also went over for England.

What is the World Cup Nines?

There have been several nine-a-side competitions played at domestic level in recent years, but this is the first World Cup tournament featuring solely international teams.

Matches are played over two nine-minute halves with slightly amended rules, including five tackles per set instead of the usual six, unlimited interchanges and five points being awarded if a player scores a try in a bonus zone between the posts.

Rhiannon Marshall
Rhiannon Marshall scored tries either side of half-time in England's win against Papua New Guinea

The two-day event in Sydney will conclude on Saturday, with the women's final (09:45 BST) followed by the men's final (11:00 BST).

England and Wales are alongside Lebanon and France in Pool B, with only the group's winners progressing to the semi-final stage. Lebanon beat France 12-8 in their opening group match.

In the women's competition, England have group games against Australia and New Zealand left to play. The top two teams at the end of the round-robin phase will face each other in the final.

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